What better way to volunteer – and to work toward helping people live healthier lives -- than to be active on Day of Action? That’s what the team at United Way of the River Cities had in mind when they decided to partner with several local organizations to host a day of fitness- and health-related events on June 21 for people of all ages. “United Day of Fitness” will feature the West Virginia 5K Championship, West Virginia Senior Games and the YMCA Family Fun Fest and Concert. About 60 volunteers will help with the West Virginia 5K Championship, an annual fundraiser for United Way of the River Cities. United Way will use the funds raised to make grants for programs to fight childhood obesity. The West Virginia Senior Games are a statewide competition in which adults 50 and older compete in 18 different sports. The inaugural YMCA Family Fun Fest will feature live music, concessions, video games, face painting, and other fun for families. This event will benefit the Kids in Motion program, a fun and innovative exercise and nutrition program designed to improve the health of children.
Another way to help kids stay active is to ensure they have good sports equipment. United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg is teaming up with Advanced Orthopedics, Ortho On-Call, and Fit4Kids to collect youth sports equipment to be given to schools and programs serving children throughout the region. Volunteers are organizing equipment drives at their workplace and will help clean and sort the items on United Way Day of Action.
Affording and having access to fresh fruits and vegetables can be a challenge for many, so United Way of Southeastern Connecticut is mobilizing volunteers to lend their muscle and help clear land and brush to make way for a Giving Garden. All of the fresh, healthy produce grown there will be donated to United Way’s Food Center for distribution through its mobile food pantry and to local feeding sites to help those struggling with hunger and food insecurity. United Way is promoting the Day of Action Giving Garden project to schools as a family-friendly and fun end-of-school year activity for about 50 volunteers. Beyond Day of Action, businesses and groups of volunteers will be able to adopt a parcel of the land to plant, care and maintain throughout the growing season, then pick the ripe produce, package it up and deliver it to the Food Center’s warehouse.
How will you be active on June 21 – by going for a walk, playing a sport with a child, or volunteering with United Way to help more youth and adults become healthy? I hope you will contact your local United Way to volunteer on Day of Action and throughout the year, and learn more about United Way’s work in promoting good health.